Reigning Verizon IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon heads to the 2016 season finale in third place in the championship hoping to give Target a winning send off. It was announced earlier this year that after 27 years with Chip Ganassi Racing in IndyCar that Target would pull out of their programme at the end of the season.
Dixon who won the Desert Diamond West Valley Phoenix Grand Prix at the start of the season has endured a tough season however, last time out at the IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen presented by Hitachi the New Zealander completed dominated the weekend and was fastest in every session taking his 40th career victory.
Dixon will be hoping that he can replicate that performance this weekend to give Chip Ganassi Racing something to build on going into the winter ahead of the 2017 season. Speaking ahead of the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma, Dixon commented by saying:
Sonoma is very hard to beat as a venue. You really have it all there. Flying into San Francisco, wine country, the Sonoma downtown area – what more can you ask for? It’s a huge event for our partners as well, with Target bringing hundreds of guests to attend the race and cheer us on. They come for the racing and the wine, so it’s an easy sell for the team. The track itself has the elevation changes and the flowing corners, and it proved to put on a great show for the championship finale last season.
Tony Kanaan in the No.10 NTT DATA Chevrolet goes into this weekend’s race following an upturn in fortune for the Brazilian after a late season charge. Kanaan like his team mate has struggled to match the Penske’s in 2016 with his best finish this year a second place at the Kohler Grand Prix at Road America.
TK goes into this weekend’s race in 6th place in the points standings on 427 points and speaking ahead of the final race he commented by saying:
I’m looking forward to heading back to Sonoma this weekend and getting back on-track for the last race of the season. Our test last week at Sonoma was very productive and I think we were able to gather a lot of good data between the four Ganassi drivers. We had some issues in Watkins Glen that really hurt our race, so I think all of NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing wants to get back out there to put up a good result and end the season on a high note.
Charlie Kimball in the No.83 Tresiba® Chevrolet goes into this weekend’s race having celebrated his 100th Verizon IndyCar Series race last time out at the IndyCar Grand Prix at Watkins Glen presented by Hitachi.
Kimball is in ninth place in the Verizon IndyCar Series standings on 389 points and speaking ahead of the race in Sonoma he commented by saying:
We had a really good test last week at Sonoma Raceway. The No. 83 Tresiba Chevrolet crew worked through a lot of development programs that gave us a really good direction for when we go back for the race. I’m really excited – I love racing at Sonoma Raceway and being back on the West Coast is always great. But at the same time, it’s a little bittersweet because it’s the last race of the Verizon IndyCar Series season. The Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing team has had a good year and I think it’d be even better if we could finish it off with a podium or victory this weekend. This will be my 100th career Indy car start so I’m hoping it’s a memorable finish, too.
Former Formula One driver Max Chilton heads into the race which will compete his first Verizon IndyCar Series season.
Chilton is currently in 19th place in the standings on 239 points. Chilton who drives the No.8 Gallagher Chevrolet is currently in third place in the Sunoco Rookie of Year standings and speaking ahead of the final race he commented by saying:
We’ve done some testing at Sonoma this year and that’s always good to have in your back pocket when you’re a rookie in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Scott (Dixon) has won here the past two years and (CGR driver advisor) Dario Franchitti has been to victory lane in Sonoma as well, so I have a lot of good information to go off of. I hope we can continue to improve on our results and end the season on a high note for the Gallagher team.